Gurko Street in the center houses much urban history. It once started from the garden behind the municipality and ended at the Catholic Church, today it is much shorter due to the formation of Stefan Stambolov Square, the drilling of the Tunnel and the construction of Tsar Boris III Obedinitel Boulevard.
Though not so famous for its name and impressive in its length, Gurko Street boasts one of the most valuable historical landmarks in the city under the hills - the ancient Roman Forum and the Odeon, as well as several more beautiful jewels the box of values of Plovdiv's architectural history.
Today the street starts from the Main Street - Alexander Battenberg and ends on the sidewalk of Tsar Boris III Obedinitel. In the past, however, it began on Émile de Laveleye Street. The Municipality and the adjoining building with Aspect Gallery were on Gurko Street. Where there is today the garden of Stefan Stambolov Square, there were houses also. They were destroyed in the late 1950s and early 60s when the square was built. The remaining buildings retain their numbers, and Gurko Street starts at number 10.
The rest, however, also keeps a lot of history. In the 20's of the last century, on number 13 was the Bohemi restaurant, a favorite place for Plovdiv’s bearers of culture who could not afford the more expensive coffee and lemonades in the Molle Hotel. Nowadays there is a famous cafeteria in its place. On the street was also the ear clinic of the famous Dr. Asen Kaishev. His home, built by architect Boyan Chinkov, is still standing bordering the Odeon. It still keeps - at least in part - the wonderful decorative plaster of squares.
Also in the 1930s, the house on the other side of the Odeon was built, which houses the Hemingway restaurant, which carries the signs of modern architecture - the window of the staircase in a vertical strip and the terraces ending with a semicircle.
The houses on the other side of Gurko were built a bit earlier. They are more classic in nature, built in the years before and around World War I - they can be recognized by the richer ornamentation on the facades and around the windows. Over the years, all have undergone smaller or larger refurbishments, and today's house where the Opera restaurant is housed is one of the most preserved.
Walking past the colorful facades, one feels like being in an Italian viale where you can have a cup of coffee or a delicious meal in the immediate vicinity of ancient ruins. On both sides, the short section is full of tables, laughter and the sound of glasses. Although limited within a few meters, you can stay here in a boutique setting - 8 1/2 Art Guest House and Villa Antica , taste gourmet specialties in one of the city's finest restaurants and enjoy coffee and delicious cakes in Dolce Fellini.
The buildings to the crossing with Otets Paisii Street also carry their signs from the past. Most impressive is the abandoned building - a transformer station of the city's trolley buses. Unlike today's transformer towers, this is aesthetically pleasing with its beautiful rows of windows. Unfortunately, it is now empty, despite the wishes of the people of Plovdiv for it to become a center of culture or just to be reborn in some contemporary way.
Diagonally of it is the Sezession Building, where today is the Unico Restaurant, and during the socialist regime, there was the Vegetarian restaurant. The place was legendary for the Plovdiv people and a favorite stop of the artist Zlatyu Boyadzhiev.
Beautiful and aesthetically pleasing are also the last two buildings on the street, with features from the 20th-century architecture.
The part of Tsar Boris III Obedinitel has been forgotten for many years, but after the recent repairs and turning it into a mostly pedestrian street can expect a revival, similar to what we saw in Kapana. Its connection with the underpass to the Monday Market or in the other direction - the Great Basilica, may awaken interest to this part or to Gurko Street itself.
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